Network Neutrality - Podcast
June 8, 2006
Snowe and Dorgan's legislation to protect network neutrality
Hello, this is Senator
Barack Obama and today is Thursday, June 8th, 2006.
The topic today is net
neutrality. The internet today is an open platform where the demand
for websites and services dictates success. You've got barriers
to entry that are low and equal for all comers. And it's because
the internet is a neutral platform that I can put on this podcast
and transmit it over the internet without having to go through some
corporate media middleman. I can say what I want without censorship.
I don't have to pay a special charge. But the big telephone and
cable companies want to change the internet as we know it. They
say they want to create high-speed lanes on the internet and strike
exclusive contractual arrangements with internet content-providers
for access to those high-speed lanes. Those of us who can't pony
up the cash for these high-speed connections will be relegated to
the slow lanes.
Allowing the Bells and
cable companies to act as gatekeepers with control over internet
access would make the internet like cable. A producer-driven market
with barriers to entry for website creators and preferential treatment
for specific sites based not on merit, the number of hits, but on
relationships with the corporate gatekeeper. If there were four
or more competitive providers of broadband service to every home,
then cable and telephone companies would not be able to create a
bidding war for access to the high-speed lanes. But here's the problem.
More than 99 percent of households get their broadband services
from either cable or a telephone company.
So here's my view. We can't
have a situation in which the corporate duopoly dictates the future
of the internet and that's why I'm supporting what is called net
neutrality. In the House, the Energy and Commerce Committee and
the Judiciary Committee reached different conclusions on network
neutrality. Judiciary Committee members voted to protect net neutrality
and commerce voted with the Bells and cable. That debate is going
to hit the House floor this Friday. In the Senate, Senators Snowe
and Dorgan are leading the fight for net neutrality and I've joined
in that effort. Senator Inouye, the ranking Democrat of the Commerce
Committee, has joined us in this effort as well and he's working
with Senator Stevens to put strong network neutrality into any Senate
bill that comes before us. There is widespread support among consumer
groups, leading academics and the most innovative internet companies,
including Google and Yahoo, in favor of net neutrality. And part
of the reason for that is companies like Google and Yahoo might
never have gotten started had they not been in a position to easily
access the internet and do so on the same terms as the big corporate
companies that were interested in making money on the internet.
I know if you are listening
to this podcast that you are going to take an intense interest in
this issue as well. Congress is going to need to hear your voice
because the Bell and cable companies are going to be dedicating
millions of dollars to defeating network neutrality. So I'll keep
you updated on this important issue and I look forward to talking
to you guys again next week. Bye-bye.
FACTS ABOUT WHAT'S-HIS-NAME
You can only imagine how many different ways people type the name Barack
Obama. Here is a sampling for his first name: Barac, Barach, Baracks, Barak,
Baraka, Barrack, Barrak, Berack, Borack, Borak, Brack, Brach, Brock even,
Rocco. There are just as many for his last name: Abama, Bama, Bamma, Obma,
Obamas, Obamma, Obana, Obamo, Obbama, Oboma, Obomba, Obombma, Obomha, Oblama,
Omaba, Oblamma and (ready for this?) Ohama. And of course there's Barack
Obama's middle name, Hussein. Here are some of the ways it comes out: Hissein,
Hussain, Husein, Hussin, Hussane and Hussien.